Saturday, June 18, 2011

Psychological, Psychoanalysis, Psychologically Speaking of Course....

This term has been a wild one due to massive amounts of work, and massive amounts of personal health issues!  I missed my first psychology course of the term due to my daughter being in the hospital and almost missed the second day due to me needing to be in the hospital.  And what I have learned does boggle the mind.

I have taken several psychology courses while I've attended schools in various areas.  I loved what the psychological courses discussed and lets face it, who doesn't want to learn to psychoanalyze oneself and others!  Educational psychology is a field that you have to look at from so many different angles.  I've always known that you can not pinpoint one's development, moral growth, actions, or anything of that nature on one theory or one person book of why.  No one person can successfully categorize human beings and be correct  Instead I've learned and am currently learning that these theories have to be combined and considered based upon each individual person.  This is a lot of stuff for a teacher to take into account.  For example:

We all want to teach on a level that the kids will understand.  To do that we need to know what cognitive development stage they are in (Piaget), what their zone of proximal development is (Vygotsky), and all about their moral reasoning (Kohlberg).  And if that wasn't enough, their are several more professionals in the field of psychology who want to have their say so on the human race considered.  I am thinking of Kegan at this point, but there are many more. 

The most important thing I've learned so far is that children have to be addressed in a manner in which they can cognitively understand.  You can't expect a child who can't think abstractly to understand your instruction if it calls for abstract thinking.  When I think about this, I can almost imagine a child saying, "This teacher doesn't make any sense."  As I reflect on my past, I've remembered that I have been a student in that type of situation.   As I consider my future, I know I don't want to make those kinds of mistakes.

While I am having to do plenty of reading and writing in this class, I can say it is definitely interesting.  And as odd as it sounds, the professors wit and mind, remind me of my Grandfather who passed almost 17 years ago.  I feel comfortable in asking questions and learning.  What a great thing to inspire students to feel I think.

Until next time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The start of a new "semester"

I hate to call what we are doing a semester since it is only a month long, but WOW the workload is a semester's worth.  This month I am taking an educational psychology course along with an elementary literacy course that focuses on assessments as well as teaching.  Both are very interesting so I can say at least while I'm being overwhelmed with a lot of work, it isn't boring work!  The biggest difference I'm seeing with this month's workload versus last month's work load is the amount of papers I have to write.  There are an ENORMOUS amount of papers. 

One of my paper's that I must write this first week focuses on Piaget;s theories of cognitive development.  I've found a little YouTube video that discusses what they are so you can get an idea of what I'm learning about at this stage in the program.

I missed the first psychology in class lecture due to my daughter having to go to the hospital, and now I am feeling like I'm flying blind on my work.  The syllabus tells me what the topic each paper has to be on, but it does not tell me when it is due, or the requirements of the paper.  I guess I'm looking for a rubric!  I need to know if I should be persuasive, informative, length of the paper, and even though I've already said it, the due date is just as important!  I'm going to try and email the professor again to see if I can get those questions answered.

My question for you today is when you are writing a paper or doing any assignment, what kind of information do you find helpful to have to complete your task?  I ask this because as a teacher I want to be sure that I don't leave any room for discussion on my assignments.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Week of Finals

This week is the last week of our Summer I courses.  Two full size courses crammed into 1 month has me exhausted.  And then, I remember I still have 2 more months like this to go!  I CAN do this.  This week we focused mostly on our final projects which are presentations for both classes.  Tonight is the last presentation for the week, but the work is not done.  We still have take home finals that are due prior to midnight on Friday.  I started yesterday, but have a long way to go with that.

Next month is considered Summer II and before I get geared up for new learning, I wanted to take some time to reflect about what I've learned in this past month. 

I really feel like I've learned a lot about what the teachers do inside the classroom.  This didn't come from instruction as much as it came from getting to know those that are in the program with me.  These teachers teach in various types of schools to various age groups, and they all have magnificent stories to tell.  I can't help but sit back in class sometimes and think about the impact each one of them is making on the future generation.  I wonder if they think about this, or if time goes by and they view it as just another day at their jobs?  I sometimes wonder if they feel they are doing adequate enough jobs, or do they feel like they go above and beyond.  I will say that I think each one of these teachers have shown in class how they feel about their schools, their students, and what they do, and they are driven.  They are driven somewhat by the test scores, but also by the kids that they spend time with everyday.  How awesome to be involved in teaching the next scientist, poet, or mathematician.  At the end of the day they should all be proud of all they've accomplished and what they've gone through.  I'm in awe just sitting in the room with them twice a week.

I have learned that the amounts of technology that can be integrated into studies is only limited by your imagination.  There really is something out their for everyone.

I have also learned that knowing what the law states will keep you safe in your career.  It is also interesting to watch the history of how that law has changed, and what impact it has made on social conformity's and education as well. 

As I get geared up to do my final assignments I can't help but think.  I'm glad I've survived the first two classes, and I am eagerly awaiting this weekend where I will truly not have any homework until my first day of class arrives on Tuesday.

Good Luck on your finals everyone!